Candidate at a glance

CITY RESIDENCY:
Born and raised in New Bedford, Mass.
WORK:
Tenant coordinator in New Bedford
FACEBOOK

Q&A
Scott G. Pemberton

Tell us briefly about your qualifications and why you are running.

Twenty-two years ago, when I first ran for political office, I was as committed as I’m committed now. I’m not running because my taxes are going up and I’m not running because my water bills are going up. I’m running because your taxes and water bills are going up. I will put the needs of the city residents first, and I will fight to keep the taxes low, with new business and jobs in the city. I will not only bring my 35 years of experience but also my leadership to the City Council and help lead New Bedford to a better tomorrow. I’m just getting started by reorganizing a Business Association and I have more to get done.

Amid rising home prices and escalating monthly rents, what can New Bedford do to ensure there is enough affordable housing for those who want to continue living in the city?

We have a lot of vacant and abandoned property in our city. I would like to see us sell them off as first-time homebuyers programs (affordable). I’m not opposed to selling off the airport and turn that land into affordable housing. If we’re not making any revenue from the airport, why keep it? We can, however, generate revenue with housing, and it will help with jobs — especially with the golf course having industrial industry over there. 

Police and fire departments recently shifted staff and consolidated operations in a new public safety station in the city’s South End. Is there still adequate public safety across the city? How will you work to keep the neighborhoods safe?

The answer is no. We do not have adequate public safety, but not because the mayor is closing down police stations, (which I’m against the closing), but we just don’t have adequate staffing across the city. We continuously must be having mutual aid on a daily basis. We need to hire more public safety personal and also that our EMS have a competitive pay grade. We also need to make sure that our public safety is trained and equipped with up-to-date and required gear. Just hope the new complex in the North End, whenever that gets done, is planned out right.

New Bedford has a higher rate of COVID-19 than the state average, along with a lower vaccination rate. Are you in favor of mandatory vaccines for public employees as announced by Mayor Jon Mitchell? If not, what would you do to make New Bedford residents safer?

No. I’m not in favor of any mandatory vaccines. We do not have any right to make someone get something that they do not want to do. What are we bullies that can just push people around, forcing them to do something? Listen, all we can do is to educate ourselves (whether we’re vaccinated or not) so we can then educate our community and let the people decide what is right for them.

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